Today is known globally as International Women’s day, a day that’s a celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, as from challenge comes change.
It’s appropriate that we acknowledge the achievement of women in the legal industry. Female solicitors are now outranking men with 52% of practicing solicitors now women. In Donegal, solicitor numbers are 129 practicing, composed of 61 men, and 68 women. The milestone is particularly striking in the context of the profession’s historical background, the first woman solicitor Mary Dorothea Heron was only admitted as a solicitor 92 years ago, in 1923.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we interviewed our Partner & head of Litigation Amanda Walsh to learn and become inspired by her views & opinions…
1. What area of law are you most interested in?
I have always enjoyed doing private client work, specifically, working in the areas of family law, personal injury, medical negligence, and personal insolvency.
2. What are you looking forward to most this year?
Covid 19 has meant that the last 12 months have been very challenging for everyone. I am looking forward to being able to resume normal life and to be able to visit family.
3. What attracted you to the legal profession?
Well, in some respects, it was a process of elimination. I always knew I wanted to work in a profession that would involve helping people and I was also interested in working in an environment that would be varied and allow for continued development. I ended up choosing Law.
4. Who is your inspirational lady?
That’s a tough question, there are lots of women I could mention. I think I would have to say my mother. She has had a great influence on my life and taught me some very important life skills.
5. What is the biggest challenge in your profession?
To continue to develop our systems and procedures in line with technological innovations. Ultimately, to make it as easy as possible for people to access legal assistance when they need to.
6. Finally, what advice would you give a young inspiring solicitor? Or advice tips for anyone thinking of studying law?
I would say not to focus too much on the academic side of the job but to focus on what area of law they are most interested in and what type of environment they would like to work in. Every law firm has a different culture that they value and want to maintain. It is important to choose the area of law and the firm that is right for you.